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Byron Shire
March 20, 2023

Support for isolated mums in Byron and Tweed

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Coordinator for Support For New Mums Deb Hunt says the group provides support for emotional and physical wellbeing. Photo Tree Faerie.

Eve Jeffery

Being a new mum is not always what the ads for nappy wipes would have us believe. Mostly it’s just not glamorous, particularly for brand new mums and a local service is helping by providing support to navigate early parenthood.

A free service called Support For New Mums is encouraging pregnant women and mothers with babies in the Byron Shire and tweed Shires to reach out if they need emotional support.

A volunteer-led not-for-profit based in Murwillumbah, Support For New Mums was established in 2019 to complement existing community services by providing free home visits to women in their third trimester, or with babies, who are experiencing isolation.

Support For New Mums founder Deb Hunt is hoping that mothers will reach out to the service. ‘A lot of mothers find themselves feeling alone without a support system, which increases the pressures of parenting,’ says Deb. ‘Asking for help can take courage, so we do encourage women looking for emotional support to contact us and start the process – our team are ready to help.’

COVID-19 added to mounting social pressures

Deb says social isolation due to COVID-19 has added to mounting social pressures on new mothers this year. ‘Issues surrounding isolation have certainly had a greater impact due to social and travel restrictions and I feel social media adds to new mums feeling stressed. They feel that they need to look like they have it all together when they’re actually struggling. We try to relieve a bit of this pressure by visiting mum at home, affording her space to shower, care for herself, finish jobs around the house and just relax.’

The organisation has 30 trained volunteers – all of whom are mums themselves. Currently they are visiting 20 mother in the region, many of whom have partners that work away or live away from their families.

Support For New Mums re-launched their service with a grant from the Northern Rivers Large Grants Program 2020, which invited Northern Rivers not-for-profits to apply for a share of $100,000 to boost social and environmental projects in the region.

inGrained Foundation

Run by the inGrained Foundation, a not-for-profit founded by local independent brewery Stone & Wood, the six successful applicants were announced in July.

‘With the grant from the inGrained Foundation we have been able to advertise the group in the Tweed and Byron communities as well as train more volunteers who nurture and provide mums with the support they need to feel great within themselves and care for their baby.’

Pregnant women and mothers with new babies who are experiencing isolation or need emotional support are encouraged to contact Support For New Mums by calling Deb directly on 0490 409 039 or [email protected]

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